Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
For Da Love of Money (2003)
"You need to be mixin' yo money with ho money."- Too Sweet (Tommy Franklin)
Stars: Pierre, Reynaldo Ray, Tanya Boyd, Sacha Kemp, Maurice Patton, Stevie Johnson, Christian Keiber
MPAA Rating: R for strong language, sexual content
Run Time: 01h:31m:42s
Release Date: 2003-04-08
DVD ReviewI sometimes wonder just how certain films come to life on the big screen. I walk the aisles of my local video store staring blankly at the packaging of films that I not only had no idea existed, but more than likely, neither did half of western civilization. There are some gems to be uncovered in these situations, but to get to that very small number one must be content to live with the duds. Let me just say that For Da Love of Money happens to fall into the latter category, as it is a painfully unfunny film about misunderstandings that fails to yield a single laugh during its painfully long run time.
When the film opens we see a criminal who has just stoles t$200,000 from an armored car and is desperately in search of a place to stash the money. He comes upon a trash can in the backyard of a home in a Los Angeles neighborhood, where he places the money hoping that he can come back later and reclaim it. When a homeless mans digs through the trash he finds the stash, and is quickly on his way. Soon the neighborhood begins to swirl with the news that Dre (Pierre) has come into money, though his neighbors wrongly think it is a lot more. While misunderstandings abound, it is only a matter of time until everyone realizes what exactly is happening.
If the humor in For Da Love of Money were not of the lowest denominator there may have been hope for the film. Instead, the script devalues the positive image it is hoping to portray in its characters by relegating them to stereotypical character traits. Take for example the fat mailman, the midget hooker, or even the Seventies-era pimp, and you get the type of characters that the film is littered with. It would be enough to see one positive character with a true purpose in the film, aside from the main protagonist, but after only a few minutes the outlook looks bleak.
All of this may be acceptable if the script contained some sort of humor or emotional level at all. The scenes and situations seem to play only as backdrops to the aforementioned stereotypes. The script, written by Pierre, seems to rely heavily on the charm of its lead character, stand up comedian-turned-actor Pierre (just the first name, you know, like Prince), who does come off well. Looking past his performance, it becomes clear that he gave himself the best lines, but everyone else seems forced to fend for themselves.
As a director, Pierre lacks the style and visual flair needed to make the viewing experience worthwhile. His camera work is often stationary, which would not be a problem if shots were framed correctly. Oftentimes the attention is shifted to one side of the screen rather than being centered; perhaps it is intentional, but somehow I doubt it. The production was filmed on a small budget, but other directors have done much more with less.
Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: D+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||no|
Image Transfer Review: The transfer for For Da Love of Money is a full-frame image that is above average given the low budget of the film. Colors are crisp and vibrant with no bleeding evident; black levels are handled nicely with good depth and very slight grain. The print used does show some flaws occasionally, but never enough to drag the overall quality of the presentation down.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the film is rather uneventful aside from a few moments where the largely hip-hop score comes from each speaker clearly. Dialogue is crisp and clear with no distortion making this a very pleasant sounding mix.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Korean, Thai, Portuguese with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Extras Review: The theatrical trailer for the film is offered if full frame format.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsA nearly blatant rip off of the superior Friday in its tale of a day in the 'hood, For Da Love of Money does introduce Pierre as a fresh face to keep an eye out for. I can only hope it is as an actor; hopefully his writing and directing days are behind him.
Kevin Clemons 2003-12-04